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I see many famous brand pianos are priced much cheaper as they are assembled in Asian countries.

They advertise the pianos are assembled with 100% original German or Japanese parts, also quality

controlled by the administrator from the main branch.

Regarding the sound and stability, is it reliable?

For example, IBACH in the video was assembled in Korea with Renner action and 100% German parts

and several German brands are assembled in Asian countries.

Do you find big difference between original one and stencil pianos?

Last edited by Joonsung; 01/27/22 10:29 PM.

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It wouldn't be possible to generalise like that, some stencil pianos might be pretty good and others poor, you'll have to judge each one on its merits.

Do beware of the advertising though, I doubt if any stencil piano is built with 100% German parts, certainly not the woodwork.

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It isn’t just stencil pianos, Steinway does this.


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Many Ibachs of the 1960s and 1970s were built in South Africa, under license and supervision of Ibach ( * ), and in the 1980s, also in Korea. From what I've heard and read amongst German technicians, these Ibachs do not have quite the same standing as those from Germany.

I've never seen or heard one of the Korean-made Ibachs. But the South African ones, to my knowledge, used imported Renner actions and Ibach soundboards, built into locally manufactured woodwork. I'm not aware of a plate foundry here (speaking under correction), so I suspect that the unfinished plates were imported and finished here. I myself own one of those South African Ibachs, and in my tuning clientele there are two more. They were the top-tier product of the South African piano factory, and they are still much, much better (in terms of touch and tone) than most other pianos that came from the same factory, but that doesn't mean that they were on par with German-made Ibachs. In the local Ibachs, I have seen some evidence of cutting corners, e.g. imprecise bridge notching and pinning, poor finishing of V-bars, mismatched wound bichord strings, etc. This results in some tonal issues too, e.g. false beats and problematic transitions from the bass to the treble bridge. I would not expect this in a German Ibach. (I tune an imported Schimmel upright from the 1980s, and that piano is just in a different class.)

So, from my perspective, all of this can only echo what gwing wrote above.

* Edit: to my knowledge, Rolf Ibach actually worked at the South African piano factory for some years.

Last edited by Mark R.; 01/28/22 09:53 AM. Reason: given in post

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Originally Posted by Joonsung
Do you find big difference between original one and stencil pianos?

Yes.
But what you think of the touch and tone matters more than my opinion. In the case of an Ibach you were looking at, you really loved the tone, if I recall, but were gravitating toward a different piano because of the brand name/reputation.
I wouldn’t quite call it a stencil piano in this case.


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This concept always intrigues me, because I spent much of my career supporting the manufacturing industry.

When I was a kid there was a humorous lore about VWs being built by elves in the Black Forest. But VW, along with other German car makers -- in fact the automotive industry at large -- long ago learned that production can be successfully moved. It's not easy. But it can be done.

OTOH, some believe that sometimes an intangible magic is possessed by only a select few who can complete something to the highest level of quality, and all else is imitation.

TBH, I have a foot in both camps. There certainly seems to be something "there" when it comes to German pianos. At the same time, the gap is closing.

How many threads have been posted about how much German is German? How much "German" can you remove and still be German? How much "German" do you need to add before something becomes German? Or at least German enough?

This thread would sort of be, can you take German parts, a German design, and a German process, but perform the work outside Germany, and still wind up with the same "German" piano? Well, car manufacturers certainly do it. So it must be possible. In theory. But does it happen? Is there a quantifiable difference? How significant is it?


Is it Seiler who's building the same models in both Germany and Asia? I'm curious about how they compare.


On a related note, there's been an intriguing piano listed on Craigslist near me for quite some time (naturally, it's not there today). It cites an impressive list of German stuff, from scale to parts. It even has an emblem that says something like "German Engineering". It makes me think that if it's not a good piano to start with, then in the hands of an expert technician it probably could be fine tuned into something pretty good. Perhaps these sort of pianos' biggest shortcoming is simply that they aren't seven feet long (pun intended).

I mean, what if the piano has it all: Kluge keys, Renner action and hammers, Röslau wire, Strunz soundboard, etc, and all the best wood, materials and design? All that's really left is the workmanship (which is significant but can be learned). If what falls short is the nebulous layer of excellence at the top, could[n't] that be remedied by expert prep?


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"Perhaps these sort of pianos' biggest shortcoming is simply that they aren't seven feet long" [/quote]

They could then call it "the Hindenberg" perhaps?
I recently saw a "German" piano of a famouse brand that went bankrupt and dissappeared in the 80's, now made in Korea. However it was initially being remade by a few German companies like Ibach (Ibach was still "alive" in Germany) and Sauter and then later by one of the two Japanese companies.(cannot remember which one) I do not know if these companies were on some sort of contract with the original manufacturer, I think they were.In other words the "dying breathe of the beautiful white swan"- so sad, yes.

So I tried this piano, it really sounded quite nice for such a small size.I noticed the oval label marked "Renner"(which someone once said you could probable buy on eBay nowadays) However if I remember I think the hammers were marked "Renner" Perhaps only the hammers were Renner so the label was "legal"

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Originally Posted by gwing
It wouldn't be possible to generalise like that, some stencil pianos might be pretty good and others poor, you'll have to judge each one on its merits.

Do beware of the advertising though, I doubt if any stencil piano is built with 100% German parts, certainly not the woodwork.
I agree some stencil pianos are really quite good with a nice tone.I know someone who has had a stencil piano which has lasted for years.


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Ronisch pianos, (what a name?, who were the Rhones?), were at one time(after WW2) made in Australia!
https://snadenspianos.com.au/history/ronisch-history/

Apparently Rachmaninoff's piano at one time was a Ronisch.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Quote
"Perhaps these sort of pianos' biggest shortcoming is simply that they aren't seven feet long"

They could then call it "the Hindenberg" perhaps?


The Hindenburg was a little longer than 7ft! wink


My grandfather was on the ground crew at Lakehurst NAS when the Hindenburg crashed. According to my great aunt, he had been something of a track star in high school (Spokane, WA), and, since she was still in school, he wrote and asked her to tell the track coach that he'd never run so fast in his life!


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I had forgotten about the awfull explosion and tragedy of the Hindenberg.Yet years ago I saw the movie about all of this.I remember the strange looking Art Deco piano on the ship, the most interesting thing about the movie for me.Someone here I think once said it was Bluthner baby grand.Odd looking in the movie, it was a sort of yellow colour with sections made of metal, off course bolted to the floor.To me it's amazing so many survived... many poor souls must have been burnt alive.
Retsacnal I do not blame your grandfather running for his life with that burning thing in the sky.Thank goodness he and others were safe.Sorry not nice of me to refer to it in my post.
It's amazing to think your grandfather was right there.

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I've never knowingly heard the piece that is being played in the OP's video but I'm very struck by the sheer oddness of 'Run to your Piano Cover' as a title.


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Oh...looks as though I misread it too, so my little joke, instead of being slightly feeble, now looks quite pathetic.


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Is California 'champagne' real Champagne? It's a long story (but some insist that it's sparkling wine, not Champagne).


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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
Is California 'champagne' real Champagne? It's a long story (but some insist that it's sparkling wine, not Champagne).
Of course Lemonade is an option... 🍋 🙄


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Originally Posted by tre corda
It's amazing to think your grandfather was right there.


By coincidence, he also survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, but died later when his routine patrol flight over the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands vanished. The crazy thing is, it was returning, and had already crossed the peninsula and Kodiak Island (based on radio communication and sightings from the ground). The weather was poor, and it just vanished. No trace or wreckage ever found, although the same weather impeded search efforts at the time.


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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
Is California 'champagne' real Champagne? It's a long story (but some insist that it's sparkling wine, not Champagne).

Definitely parallel philosophical questions. If you adhere to the notion/definition that champagne can only be produced within the physical Champagne region of France, then "no." If one is more flexible about an identical or nearly identical beverage, then "yes."


The movie "Bottle Shock" is a fun look at similar issues in the wine industry, and based on the true story of how the status quo was rocked! (It's a good movie, even for the non-connoisseur).



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There is mention here about Rolf Ibach"s relationship to the piano maker Dietman, this explains some of what Mark R mentioned.
http://classicsa.co.za/site/feature...ounder_of_piano_factory_in_south_africa/


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Yes, the Dietmann factory is exactly the one I was referring to in my earlier post, and this article you've linked is one of the few sources I've found. They were active from the 1950s to the 1980s and produced several "lines" or "brands", e.g. Dietmann, Otto Bach (which, according to my personal information from an old-timer, was a Knight stencil), Görs & Kallmann, Fritz Kuhla, and, as I mentioned, Ibach.

Last edited by Mark R.; 01/31/22 12:03 PM.

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